The four-masted steel barque Springburn was the best known of the fleet of big 2,500 ton 'bald headers' built by Barclay, Curle & Co. of Glasgow for R. Shankland's Burn Line between 1889 and 1893. Launched in 1892, she was registered in Greenock at 2,655 tons gross and measured 296 feet in length with a 45½ foot beam. Although Springburn and her sisters were intended for the profitable jute trade, this route had been lost to steam almost as soon as they were completed with the result that the entire fleet was relegated to the San Francisco grain trade within a few short years. Despite this unexpected change of trading route, Springburn was destined to make some remarkably fast passages under the command of Captain William Howard-Rae and, by the late 1890s, had established several notable records including London to San Francisco in 103 days, San Francisco to Queenstown in 98 days, Cardiff to Capetown in 37 days and Newcastle (New South Wales) to San Francisco in 42 days. Sold to French owners in March 1906, Springburn was renamed Alexandre and operated successfully until sunk by the German submarine U-155 on 1st August 1917 whilst on passage from La Pallice (France) to Taltal (Chile) in ballast.